If you have been charged with State Racketeering/RICO charges and need a professional Arizona Defense Attorney, then contact David Michael Cantor. These are very serious charges alledging a business, enterprise or syndicate trying to make money by illegal means. Racketeering in Arizona has its own rules requiring an experienced RICO Criminal Defense Attorney.
On October 15, 1970 the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act was passed to punish and deter organized crime. Arizona State Racketeering charges are listed under Arizona Revised Statutes – A.R.S. §13-2301, 13-2312, 13-2313, and 13-2314 as the “Illegal Control of an Enterprise” or “Illegally Conducting an Enterprise.” The Arizona law differentiates between the ownership or control of the illegal enterprise and the criminal action of racketeering.
Illegal Arizona Enterprise
An “enterprise” under A.R.S. §13-2301 is “any corporation, partnership, association, labor union or other legal entity or any group of persons associated in fact although not a legal entity.” This charge targets the owner or leader of the syndicate who ordered lower level members to commit crimes.
Proving ownership requires expertise with invoices, banking statements, tax forms, money transfers and other financial records. The State of Arizona will try to prove a “paper trial” shows ownership of the criminal syndicate. The charge of conducting an illegal enterprise in Arizona can be hard to prove with the defense of a good attorney.
What are Racketeering Charges in Arizona?
Racketeering in Arizona involves many of the same crimes as listed in the regular criminal code. The biggest difference is that the crimes are “organized” in a “racket.” “Racketeering” is defined in A.R.S. §13-2301 includes the following acts for financial gain:
- Drug Trafficking
- Obstructing Justice
- Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
There are other crimes that can be listed under racketeering too.
Conducting an illegal enterprise in Arizona can lead to law enforcement not only punishing the guilty party, but also attempting to destroy the criminal organization supporting the criminal activity. Racketeering involves these attempts to defraud victims:
- Asserting false claims
- Reckless publishing of inaccurate land information
- Scheme or artifice
- Restraint of trade or commerce
- Money laundering
A.R.S. §13-2313 gives a judge a great deal of latitude in issuing civil liens and forfeiture orders. The Arizona Superior Court can issue a warrant to seize all your assets. Under A.R.S. §13-2314, damages can be “trebled” (i.e. tripled).
Underlying Criminal Offense Plus Racketeering
The charges for racketeering are much more serious than a normal crime because prior convictions can lead to longer sentences. For example, in Arizona, a first offense for “illegally controlling or conducting an enterprise” using a minor qualifies as a Class Two Felony with penalties that could range from probation with no jail time to upwards of twelve years in prison. If there is a prior conviction, the penalty range could double. If the Racketeering charge does not involve a minor, then it qualifies as a Class Three Felony.
Besides being charged for the basic crime, like robbery, racketeering charges means you will be charged for the original offense PLUS racketeering charges on top of that. This can be a very complicated process. That is why you should consult Racketeering Criminal Defense Attorney David Michael Cantor.
Due to the nature of the racketeering charges targeting an organization, there will be questions over character and relationships between individuals. The State may try to encourage one party to testify against another for a reduced sentence. A good Arizona Racketeering Criminal Defense Lawyer will advise on you on the best path to follow.
If you are charged with Racketeering/RICO, make sure you take your defense seriously. Arizona Attorney David Michael Cantor is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization and is very experienced in these types of cases. Contact us at (602) 307-0808 to schedule a Free Consultation. Our offices are available 24 hours a day by phone or via our secure email form.